October 12 2010

As the projects we have become involved with lately have begun to be much larger in size and much broader in scope, I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about a modular BPM COE.  In part one, I blogged on the Governance component of a modular BPM COE.  In this installment of the COE series, I'd like to spend some time talking about the Resourcing component.  Resourcing tends to be an often overlooked component of the BPM COE as the majority of focus tends to be on Execution and Governance.  However, by not addressing the Resourcing component, significant challenges in consistent delivery will surface once the BPM Tidal Wave begins to hit.

In keeping with the previous theme, there are again three focus areas: Training, Knowledge Management, and Career Development.

Training

In order for organizations to have the ability to consistently design and deliver BPM based projects, there are a variety of groups who must be training and proficient in BPM.  Traditionally, a majority of the training was focused on ensuring there was a pipeline of resources who could be utilized during the development cycles.  However, training for other organizations should not be ignored.  For example, the support team will need to be trained on the new BPM system, how the end users interact with it, how to troubleshoot, etc.  On the other end of the spectrum, having a consistent, repeatable manner in which to train end users of the BPM system should be identified and documented.   In order to be successful as the number of BPM initiatives expands, organizations should ensure there is a training strategy around the full lifecycle of their BPM efforts.

Knowledge Management

Another aspect of ensuring consistent, repeatable delivery as well as accelerating delivery time lines of BPM based projects is a knowledge management strategy.  Often times, only the individual responsible for a particular task retains the knowledge and experience they gain on a project.  Having a centralized knowledge base which can house best practices documentation, reference projects, process and integration templates, etc. can not only help in a number of ways.  A centralized repository can be used to house process templates, reusable components, reference projects, etc.  The ability for the BPM team to search for previous examples will help increase the knowledge of less experienced developers, ensure intellectual property is maintained when resources shift roles, and is much more likely to be maintained than a static document.

Career Development

The final focus area is the one most often overlooked.  As BPM begins to be a more strategic investment by a number of organizations, career development and career paths need to be identified and defined.  Because BPM projects tend to blur the distinction between business and IT, the career opportunities are often blurry as well.  This can lead to individuals having some hesitation in jumping into a BPM role as they are not sure how that is going to benefit them in the future.  Having a defined set of roles and the progression between them can help to mitigate the uneasiness felt jumping into a new role within an organization.

Please stay tuned for the next installment in the series where I will discuss the Execution component of the BPM COE. 

About the Author

Brandon Dean

Brandon Dean is Executive Vice President for AVIO and focuses his time on building client relationships and directing sales, marketing, and strategy initiatives for AVIO. Prior to joining AVIO in 2008, Brandon spent time in various positions at Oracle, BEA Systems, and Fuego where he built a reputation as a thought leader in BPM strategy and implementation advisory services. 

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